Following hot on the heels of Netflix's decision to introduce an ad-supported tier next month, the Foxtel Group has announced plans to do the same for its Binge streaming service early next year.
Set to arrive during the first quarter of 2023, Binge's new ad-supported tier is being introduced as a way to offset the slowdown in subscriber growth that has started to affect the entire streaming landscape.
Last month, Variety (opens in new tab) revealed that streaming leader Netflix had lost roughly 1.3 million subscribers in the US and Canada during its last quarter, effectively forcing it and its rivals to seriously consider a move towards ad-supported streaming.
It's not hard to see why Binge would want to follow suit — Foxtel Media CEO Mark Frain told Mediaweek (opens in new tab) today that the Foxtel-owned streaming service Kayo Sports had already received around AU$50 million from advertisers, and those same brands are eager to spend on Binge, too.
Binge with ads: What to expect
Speaking at the Foxtel Upfront 2023 event in Sydney, Frain explained that "Opening up advertising on Binge is going to allow brands to appear alongside some truly world class content and add immense scale to our network."
He continued, "We are emphasising the power of the weighty one-two punch of advertising on Kayo and Binge simultaneously."
While pricing for Binge's new ad-supported plan has yet to be announced, Foxtel did reveal that ads would be limited to just four minutes per hour, and that subscribers would always have the option of upgrading to one of the service's ad-free tiers.
Netflix and Binge aren't the only streaming services set to bring ad-supported tiers — the US version of Disney Plus is set to introduce ads in December, though no timeline has been announced for Australia at this point.